Unfamiliar Lafcadio Hearn by Kenneth P. Kirkwood

By Kenneth P. Kirkwood

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Hakucho Masamune. ** New Light on Lafcadio Hearn : Con­ temporary Japan. Vol. II. p. 273. (September 1933). See also Life and Letters. Vol. I. p . 123. 38 pears to be that the Imperial University was, as general policy, gradually reducing its foreign staff in favour o f Japanese professors, and that Hearn, serving on a year-to-year contract, was at last, like several of his colleagues, released to make way for native instructors* Underlying this decision, how­ ever, was the fact that Hearn had failed to pre­ serve friendly relations with some o f his foreign colleagues ; he was hyper-sensitive, and suspicious of their imagined ill-will and criticism o f him, especially his atheistic tendencies ; and this dis­ sension was not good either for the University or the students.

The students having made a strong pro­ test in my favour, I was offered a re-engagement at terms so devised that it was impossible for me to re-engage. I was also refused the money allowed to professors for a nine-months* vacation after a service of six years. ” (Life and Letters. " I have been treated very cruelly by the Japanese Government, and forced out of the service by intrigues,一in spite of protests from the press, and from my students, who stood by me as long as they dared. To make matters worse, I fell sick ;一I have been sick for months.

Vol. II­ the people amidst whom he lived. that He remarks u As the home training of the child is left mostly to the mother, lessons of kindness to animals are early inculcated ; and the results are strongly marked in after life. It is true, Japanese children are not entirely free from that unconscious tendency to cruelty character­ istic of children in all countries, as a survival of primi­ tive instincts. But in this regard the great moral dif­ ference between the sexes is strongly marked from the earliest years.

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